I am still so excited about seeing the Great Purple Hairstreak last Thursday in my yard . To think if I had gone away as planned to KS & NE I never would have seen and gotten pictures of this butterfly. I was contacted by Jim S from the North Jersey NABA about including a picture of the butterfly I found in my yard in their information logs. Here is the submission he wrote up:
NEW JERSEY BUTTERFLIES
Great Purple Hairstreak
Identification: Very large compared to other hairstreaks in our area. Slightly larger than Common Ringlet. Below: FW and HW very dark with red basal spots on both wings. Bright orange abdomen and white spots on body. Male has some iridescent blue underneath. Two sets of tails on each HW. Brilliant iridescent blue above seen while flying. Not easily confused with any other butterfly in NJ.
NJ Status and Distribution: Vagrant. Found throughout southern U.S.—closest colonies to NJ in southern Delmarva. Only one NJ record from southern Cape May County (6/15/17) in past century. Apparently, it was a resident in NJ before 1900.
Habitat: Moist woodlands.
Flight Period: March to November in VA.
Larval Food Plants: : Oak Mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum) which is still locally present in southern NJ.
Overwintering Stage: Pupa, but does not overwinter in NJ.
Best Locations: None, but most likely if found it will be in Cape May County.
Comments: A truly stunning butterfly. It is the only member of this tropical genus to make it into the US.
Copyright © 2017 NABA-North Jersey Butterfly Club